Wow! Martina is this weeks Fundraising Friday Star and goodness me she has done superb! A truly fantastic example of hard work and determination, with a few minor set backs Martina has proved that anything is possible if you put your mind to it! Have a read and be impressed! Over to you Martina…

It’s all started when Tommy came to our school to tell us a bit about the expedition to Cambodia in 2017 (Hi Tommy!).

I was fascinated. I’ve always loved travelling.

I’ve seen a number of amazing countries myself, but I’ve never been to Asia and it’s been on my bucket list for quite some time.

Volunteering is another passion of mine, whether it is bucket collections, volunteering in a church café or helping out at a kids’ bible week. I’ve done all of that, but I’ve always wanted to do more. Go abroad for a couple of weeks and help build something. Help improve people’s quality of life with my own two hands. And there it was, an amazing opportunity to go and do this in Cambodia. I instantly knew that this is it, I have to do this.

But try telling that to my mum, it took me a while to get her to agree :D. We came up with different ways how I could raise almost £4,000 and after a bit of maths it suddenly didn’t seem so unachievable. Quite the opposite actually.

My first project was the Silence Day on the beginning of April. I challenged myself not to speak for 24 hours and get sponsored for that in school. I had a money collection box with a card explaining that I can’t speak and why. I managed to raise £37 which was a nice starter. Then I started selling handmade jewellery in school. Both me and my mum has some previous experience with making different kinds of jewellery. I had a stall in school every lunchtime, I also made a poster which I shared on Facebook. After the exams I tried selling the jewellery and some hand-painted t-shirts at car boot sales, but that wasn’t very successful, so I had to stop. I made about £370, almost all of that in school.silence day

Unfortunately, even though I kept a careful record of every penny I made by selling jewellery, quite a large amount of this money disappeared from my room, about £120. I was really upset as the only people who would have the opportunity to do that would be my friends or our family friends. After I shared my story on Facebook, thanks to the kindness of my family and friends, they helped me not only recover the missing amount, but almost double it, I received £210. I am incredibly grateful for that.

Next, and a very important part of my fundraising journey, is my job. Actually, my two jobs. I work as an assistant in a cookery school and in June I got an additional job for holidays as a barista in a coffee shop. I’ve been saving my wages since October and so far I’ve made about £990!

coffee morning

Last week I did a coffee morning in my church. I asked the senior pastor to announce it on Sunday’s morning and evening services; the church is so large that my guess is that at least 2500 people have heard about it. I made a poster which I shared on Facebook and on my expedition page every day. Also our youth leader Michael announced it on Saturday’s youth service and asked for help with baking. After asking my manager in my second job to forward my sponsorship email to the head office, Ground Espresso Bars donated coffee beans and some tray bakes for the coffee morning. Then a couple of people from the church brought in cakes and buns, me and my friend baked the rest. Many people weren’t able to make it there, but they brought me envelopes with their donations on Sunday. We were super successful: we raised £810!!!

coffee morning poster

 

I also have a website with all the info about my expedition and a blog where I post about my progress, plans and events. There is a ‘donate’ button on my website which is linked to my GoFundMe where I already received £30.  The website is a great way to provide information to my possible sponsors and everybody who is interested in my adventure. Have a look if you want www.martinagoes2cambodia.weebly.com

In terms of sponsorship, I am sending emails to various local companies, however nobody has come back to me with a positive response… yet. I’m hoping that I’ll get lucky and manage to raise something that way.

And my future plans? I am doing a sponsored abseil in September with a group of people from our school. We are also waiting for a response for doing a group bag-packing. Also my boss, Chef Jeffers in Forestside Cookery School in Belfast agreed to help me do a cookery class fundraiser. I really hope that these will be successful.

I would like to reach my goal of £4,000 by Christmas, so that I can focus on school and exams next year. I feel very optimistic about this as over the last 5 months I raised about £2,300. I’m sure that with the amazing support of my school, church, family and friends we can do this. I promised to go and volunteer in Cambodia in place of all of those who are unable to, and I’m determined to keep this promise. So thank you everybody for your help!

car boot saleThanks for reading my story and good luck to everybody on your own fundraising journeys. Have faith, work hard and don’t be shy to ask for help. You can do this 😉

Martina

As ever, PLEASE send us your fundraising experiences, it makes us smile when we get to read your stories. When sending in your Fundraising Friday Star please tell us what you felt when you first heard about the expedition, a few paragraphs about what you have been up to so far for your fundraising, any future fundraising plans and some pictures of your fundraising. LOTS of pictures! (pleeeeeease) The pictures do need to be of a high quality that can be uploaded online… no fuzzy mugshots!

Click here to submit your entry today, I can’t wait to hear from you all. Remember, every Fundraising Friday Star will win a FREE HEAD TORCH.

If you win, you will automatically be put into a draw to win an even bigger prize… every quarter we will choose one Fundraising Friday Star to win A FREE RUCKSACK, SLEEPING BAG LINER, TRAVEL TOWEL AND WATER BOTTLE! Which means less kit you’ll have to buy.

Peace out.

Meg 😀